We had a LOVELY Cheeky from the other day inquire about an at-home laser treatment system & we couldn’t be happier that she did. Many of us Cheeky’s may deal with unwanted body & facial hair & many of us know that body hair is my forte, so I was super happy about this question. Even though I’m somewhat of a pro at talking about body hair because I inherently prefer to bitch about something, I can’t say that I’ve looked into every possible route to get rid of this wooly mammoth (bless my heart). In my research a few days ago, I saw special bleaching creams, hair epilation treatments, professional treatments, at-home treatments, waxing options, threading, the list goes on and on. I was actually pretty mind blown as it’s been years since I’ve thought about some of those options. In fact, I remember very vividly when I used at bleaching cream on my legs in grade school and all the boys became scared of me & my leg hair…(I wish I knew how much of a blessing it was for those idiots to be frightened by me, LOL! Less turds to deal with) Last time I used that stuff needless to say 😉
So when our Cheeky asked about at-home hair systems, I realized I needed to do some research & really understand the differences, positives & minuses of these at-home lasers. It actually took me around a couple hours, maybe even more, to find 4 main contenders I felt comfortable not only recommending to her, but something I in fact would buy. That’s typically how I treat Cheeky questions, cause I would hope that someone did their research when I needed them for something… So anyways, I definitely can say I learned a lot! I’ve learned….
- What to look for in a system
- What products aren’t worth a DARN – literally so many of them are crappy, I was actually appalled that they would even bother to sell them….And some of these guys are big names in the skincare realm or had even been a trending product at one time.
- What to remember when it comes to laser hair removal
With any at-home treatment (and with most anything we talk about), I would encourage you to do your research, but I was able to find some critical tips & tricks when it comes to successfully treating unwanted body hair with an at-home laser. If you have any experience with at-home laser hair removal, please share your experience with us Cheeky’s below. We’re pretty sure someone reading this blog would appreciate seeing a success story!
It is estimated that women spend an average of 72 days of their life shaving. That’s 2 months of our lives dedicated to what is also apparently our most despised beauty task! Even worse, over the course of our lives, it is estimated we spend over $10,000 on shaving-related products!
Types of hair removal systems…
IPL and laser hair removal are both long-term procedures for reducing hair growth. They work in similar ways, and can both be very effective, dependent on your personal needs.
Intense Pulsed Light or more commonly known as IPL uses a source of broad-spectrum, visible light. This light is designed to emit shorter wavelengths and devised to target specific structures at-hand. In hair removal, it is shown to target the melanin pigment in the hairs, while in other uses like the treatment of spider vein it then targets the hemoglobin in the blood. The light energy is absorbed, transferred as heat energy which warms the hair, causing damage to the follicle. WA LA!
Laser hair removal also uses the ability to heat hairs and damage follicles by hittin’ em with light energy. However, there are a couple subtle differences between the two. Lasers can be extremely controlled so that they can be focussed into a small area and travel a greater distance without spreading out like light typically would. They can also produce beams that only contain one color of light. These characteristics of lasers can, therefore, be utilized for the benefit of laser hair removal. The laser can travel even deeper down into the pore, giving a concentrated zap of light to the follicle, thus creating a more targeted approach.
Choosing between IPL and laser treatment is really a personal decision. Your skin tone and hair color can affect the results you achieve with both laser and hair removal, so it is important you understand which is best for you! You should consider your skin type, skin color, natural hair color, amount you wish to spend and how quickly you want to see results.
What to look for in a laser hair removal system….
- Large range on the Fitzpatrick scale – the more skin tones the product treats, the better. If it’s able to treat skin on the Fitzpatrick scale from 1-5, I would consider it a worthy contender because that way, we’ll have a better chance of it NOT causing pigmentation issues. But again, that’s something to really read about
- A UV filter of some kind that protects your skin from the potentially damaging laser can be beneficial
- A cooling system is a plus, to prevent ‘burning’, any damage and skin redness
- 300,000+ flashes is ideal (for years of use)
- FDA approved is always a plus
- At least a 1-year warranty is a good idea to consider
- Folks tended to prefer the at-home laser with the most intensity areas – allowed for them to better target certain parts of the body & see better results
- Faster pulses are nice in case you want to treat more areas than just your face
- The higher energy density (J/cm^2) the better which makes for the ability to remove the hair
- Many folks preferred battery powered systems that stay charge for 30+ minutes or more
- I prefer to find supporting data when these laser hair companies make such claims about how well their products work, so I would pay attention to that – i.e. dermatologist led study is always a plus, etc.
#CheekyConfidential If you have darker skin, at-home hair removal treatments are not recommended for you for the most part.
What to remember with a laser hair removal system…. (especially for at-home)
- Please, please please wear sunscreen
- Stay out of the sun at all costs while doing the treatment & even several weeks afterwards (I may be psycho, but that’s what I would do)
- Wear a hat when outdoors
- I think I would apply an aloe vera or a cooling gel to your face after each application (you can also do this on your bod & I wouldn’t see why you couldn’t apply this prior to the treatment, but I’d double check)
- If possible, you may want to wear protective glasses during treatment, regardless of the area just to be safe
- Shave the area before treatment, so basically no hair above the skin line
- I would avoid working out for 24 hours after treatment to avoid ‘heating’ up the skin too much
- Start with caution & test small patches per hair site
- If you notice any pigmentation issues, stop use right away
- Follow the instructions on the label to a T
- Expect to see decrease in hair growth after 2 to 3 uses
- Most at-home lasers target dark hair so if you have blonde or white hair, you may be out of luck by going this route
- Consistency is key – most folks who wrote positive reviews stated that they kept at it and set reminders each time a treatment was needed
One main observation…. I think a lot of these guys have pretty ‘harsh’ reviews because people are expecting zero hair. Most of these lasers can remove around 40-75% of hair, vs professional which is around 85% (at the high end). I really think a lot of reviewers had unrealistic expectations of indeed how ‘well’ it works as touch-ups are necessary and not all hair will be removed. But it should work really darn well if you do it right and often, per instructions.
^ these statements aren’t mean to dissuade you, but it is something to consider when you are reading folks reviews. Take them with a grain of salt in some cases & try to see if you can find the ‘science’ behind the device or can be guaranteed proven results in some fashion. #SmartShopper
Suggested at-home systems…
Here are the ones that I would personally consider –
BoSidin Facial & Body Permanent Hair Removal $139.99 (laser)
Philips Lumea Hair Removal – $599 (IPL)
Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert – $349 (IPL)
Tria Hair Removal – $359 (laser)
Tria’s advanced hair removal laser technology safely delivers over 3 times more hair-eliminating energy density (J/cm^2) than any other at-home hair removal devices.
Tria has 22 joules I believe at its highest and typical professional sessions go up to 32-34.
Images & some information provided by their respective brands.